No one thinks twice before using a facial scrub, body scrub or toothpaste from the drugstore. Little do people know that there are tiny spheres of plastic called “microbeads” in many of these day-to-day products that have a devastating effect on the environment and our food supply.
These plastic beads absorb toxins and chemicals from the waste water facility
When these microbeads are washed down the drain, they pass through water treatment plants before entering the ocean. These water treatment plants are designed to clean the water before releasing it back into the ocean, but they were not designed with micro beads in mind.
These plastic beads absorb toxins and chemicals from the waste water facility. A new study shows that an estimated 800 trillion tiny pieces of plastic from beauty products are caught in sewage treatment sludge every year.
Due to it’s high amount of bio nutrients, sewage sludge is not treated like traditional waste, instead it is used as fertilizer on farms.
Not only are micro beads transporting toxins to the farms where we grow our food, but when they get washed off the fields these toxic beads are being directly ingested by fish and the toxins are working their way up the food chain.
A solution to this problem is to replace plastic in products containing microbeads with crushed nutshells, coffee grounds, sugar or salt. Although this is a big blow to big cosmetic companies like Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), which represents 667 personal care products companies, has even dropped its opposition to banning microbeads. The reason is that the PCPC cannot reach a consensus on whether to comply or fight the movement, because the problem with microbeads is so pressing.
The state of California recently passed a bill that bans the sale of personal-care products containing plastic microbeads, starting in the year 2020. In March of 2015, there were fifteen microbead bills pending in states across the country.
Check to see if your favorite beauty products contain microbeads here!
By: Ivy Painter